Sunday, December 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Washington Redskins
By John Keim
LANDOVER, Md. -- Thoughts and observations after the Washington Redskins' 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:
What it means: The end of the Mike Shanahan regime. With stories now detailing the nature of numerous relationships at Redskins Park -- Shanahan and Robert Griffin III's; Griffin and Dan Snyder's; and Kyle Shanahan and Griffin's -- it’ll be tough for Shanahan to survive, especially after a disastrous and embarrassing 45-10 loss to Kansas City on Sunday. If Snyder fires Shanahan, it can be justified based on the record over the first three-plus years (24-37) and the fact that they have not improved this season. They’ll have salary cap room, but the direction they’re headed in is the wrong one. Shanahan has complained about how much noise accompanies coaching the Redskins. It certainly has annoyed him during his tenure and it probably makes coaching more difficult. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems, but it’s hard to paint this season in any sort of positive light. For a while bringing Shanahan back was a legitimate option. Players have maintained support, both privately and publicly. But there just seems to be too much ongoing “noise” for Shanahan to survive for a fifth season.
Stock watch: Down: special teams coach Keith Burns. The Chiefs returned a punt for a touchdown and then later a kickoff for a touchdown. Burns’ first season in Washington has been a disaster, whether it’s all his doing or not. The fact is, the special teams have been dreadful. They were not a great unit before he arrived; they’ve been terrible all year. Really, we could put an entire list of Redskins players -- and coaches -- on the “down” portion of the stock report.
QB watch: Griffin had a miserable day in the sloppy weather, completing 12 of 26 passes for 164 yards. He eyeballed a receiver leading to an easy read and interception by linebacker Derrick Johnson. Griffin was replaced by fellow second-year QB Kirk Cousins, who didn’t fare much better. He completed 7 of 16 passes for 59 yards. Both quarterbacks were put in obvious pass situations quite a bit. There are a lot of reasons the passing game didn’t work, but neither one provided much of a spark. In truth, the Redskins' offense was never in this game. Nor was their defense. Nor their special teams.
Up next: The Redskins play at Atlanta in a game that, before the season, looked like one that would have playoff implications. That notion died a long time ago.